Royals, Zach Bove, Mike Matheny discussed on Effectively Wild: A FanGraphs Baseball Podcast
Hey, how's it going? Going okay. And we want to know how things are going for the royals, which is still sort of in question here. We don't know when the royals results will be different and improved, though I'm sure we will discuss that, but it seems from afar that they are already a different team from a process perspective to invoke an old Dayton Moore buzzword. Mike matheny is out, Matt quatro is in and with him a whole host of seemingly new school coaches instead of the Cal eldred old guard, so how much did the royals need to modernize? How much can a team modernize in the course of a single off season? What differences have you observed this spring compared to last spring? Yeah, that's a big question, right? Is how much is this change going to help on the field, but just from a process standpoint, it's completely different. The vibe around camp is very different thanks to manager Mac otoro. It's the players Clubhouse kind of vibe with him from Tampa, along with Q, he brought over bench coach Paul Hoover from Tampa, so there's a lot of new ideas from the catching standpoint. That the royals are hoping the pitchers will take. And then the entire pitching department is pretty new at the big league level. Brian Sweeney came over from Cleveland, he's the pitching coach, the assistant pitching coaches Zach bove, who came over from the twins minor league side, and then the bullpen coach is much stutter who was a royal coach in the minor leagues, focused a lot on player development, kind of that. I guess you could say bridge between research and development and the players. He worked with a lot of lower level pictures. So he's the bullpen coach now, has a lot of familiarity with a lot of these young guys up here. So it's very different. What I'm hearing is different, what I'm seeing is different and like I said at the beginning, we'll see how much that changes on the field this year. I guess it's good that Macquarie goes by Q because I've seen a number of baseball raiders talk about how it's either hard to say quatre or spell cocher. I don't know if you have found that to be a difficulty at all. I don't know if that's why he goes by you. But that could be. I'll just say, yeah, I just say Q yeah, I wanted to ask about the pitching because when we last thought that the royals might be ready to take a step forward as an organization, a lot of that was being driven by this group of, at the time, young former college pitchers who seemed like they had really high floors and might be able to move the team forward in the division. And all of those guys have struggled to varying degrees as their careers have progressed. So what are you seeing in terms of differences for how they are actually trying to implement pitch design and help these guys to maybe write the ship and be the, you know, the guys we thought they would be when they were prospects. Yeah, absolutely. I think a lot of it has to do with new ideas that these new coaches are bringing a willingness to use the data and the technology. The resources that they have at their fingertips and bring it to the players in a way that the players want and understand have an individualized plan for each guy to help them take the next step. This isn't a cookie cutter approach. This is what each guy needs and they're part of the conversation. This off season, what the pitching coaches did was visit or talk to every single picture and say, what are your goals? What do you want to do? What are you working on? And then the kind of married their ideas together to create a plan for spring training and what I've heard from a lot of pictures and scene is almost every single one of them has a new pitch. They're working on something when it comes to pitch groups pitch design. That's Zach bove specialty, and they want to kind of take their take the next step and that's how they think they're going to do it. So I think it's just a lot of new ideas and a lot of new resources that they can use and are encouraged to use that I think is the biggest difference. And what about at the front office level, which obviously has to work closely with the field staff and hired the field staff so you would think that they would be in sync, but moving on from day more after his extremely long tenure, a, what was it that finally did him in? Was it just the lack of results at the big league level? Or was it a perception that the royals had fallen behind in some ways? And then making the change to JJ picolo, who was Morris right hand man for many years, how big of a philosophical shift does that represent? Yeah, I think people see JJ in charge and they may think, well, it's just dating more in number two, right? But he is different. He thinks about the game in a different way. He utilizes his resources as in a different way as well. What Dayton did in Kansas City was incredible. It should not be forgotten. Those banners will always hang at Kauffman stadium, but I think owner John Sherman, what he wanted was something new, something different, and I just remembered this stuck out so much at this press conference last September when Sherman announced JJ as the new general manager, Sherman said, we have all the data. We just need to figure out how to use it in a way that helps his team take the next step forward. So they feel good about what they have in place. They just had to they want to figure out how to take the next step using that data, that technology, the analytics, and throughout the entire organization, not just at the big league level.